In Singapore, a woman recently spread the news of killing 323 mosquitoes in a month, but it turns out she may have also destroyed large numbers specifically designed to reduce the spread of dengue virus.
The woman, named Jen, first featured her performance on the local social news portal Stomp, detailing how she went on a month-long mosquito rampage and managed to find a staggering amount of mosquitoes at her mother’s apartment in Tampines to kill.
After Jen became frustrated with the overwhelming amount of mosquitoes flying around attacking members of her family, she decided to tackle the problem head-on.
With an electric swatter, she conducted regular mosquito killing sessions and collected the bodies in labeled ziplog bags for use as evidence of their killings.
Within a month, Jen gathered an impressive collection of dead mosquitos – 323 of which were carefully counted and divided according to the number of killings per week.
In a given week, Jen managed to impressively kill a total of 106 mosquitoes.
“I am desperate to get rid of these mosquitoes. These living conditions affect the quality of life of my family and it is not beneficial for us to work from home,” Jen was quoted as saying. “We get bitten by the mosquitos, but not all the time, because we wipeouts every hour with our three electric claps to kill them.”
“But even if they don’t bite us, it still itches a lot when they just fly around our legs.”
She also raised the issue with the Singapore National Environmental Agency (NEA) and Tampines City Council, hoping they could address the issue and deal with the overwhelming amount of mosquitos in the area – particularly the overgrown tree She suspected her mother’s apartment to be an important breeding ground.
Unfortunately, Jens exploits may be wrong.
According to the NEA, the rampage could also result in the death of some Wolbachia Aedes variants that were strategically released into the wild to combat the spread of the dengue virus.
As part of the NEA Wolbachia project, Wolbachia Aedes mosquitoes have been continuously released in and around a number of areas around Singapore – including tampines – in an attempt to reduce the population of dengue-causing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes through sterilization.
The process simply involves harmless male Wolbachia aedes mosquitoes mating with dengue-bearing females, who then lay eggs that do not hatch.
The NEA made statements to the media confirming that Jen’s mother’s home was in one of the designated release sites and acknowledged the potential nuisance caused by the overwhelming number of mosquitos in some areas.
BILD: National environmental authority
“We understand the inconvenience some residents in Project Wolbachia areas have when the male mosquitoes choose to swarm in a particular area, as the feedback provider has experienced,” they said.
In terms of effectiveness, the NEA has reported that releasing Wolbachia Aedes variants in study areas has reduced Aedes aegypti mosquitoes by 90 percent, and they are now hoping to achieve the same level of success in other areas.
Going forward, the NEA will work with Jen to figure out how to resolve the matter by acquiring and investigating their collection of dead mosquitos while Tampines City Council has made plans to prune the overgrown tree in front of Jen’s mother’s apartment and to prune.
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Cover picture from Stomp and Marin / Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District.